Biographical Note: Destri Melarg was a well-known historian and translator of old Redguard verse, born as simply Destri in the city-state of Rihad in the 20th year of the 3rd Era. At the age of nineteen, he went to the Imperial City to study. There were few Redguards who had been to the Imperial Province at the time, and it may be that he took the last name Melarg in order to with the Breton, Nordic, and Dark Elf cultures he encountered there.
When he died ninety-four years later, he left numerous unfinished histories and untranslated verse. Very few of this fragmented work has found its way out of collections. What follows is an unmailed letter to Melarg's publishers in the Imperial City. The insights into the man who put the oral traditions of the Redguards to paper impressed me enough to seek its publication.
Melius, it should be noted, was Melius Kane, Melarg's publisher in the Imperial City.
Redguardic First Scholar
This is the outline of my final chapter for the series on Hammerfell heroes. I condensed Dendle's storytelling. I have my notes, but the story gets long with all the quotes. She puts a lot of dialog in her storytelling. I am amazed that the old stories about the 5 swords keeps cropping up. It's been a thousand years since Hellion's time, yet people continue to believe in the stories.
The wagon master sat with me after listening to her story and smoked a pipe with me. In discussing the story, he said that his storyteller used to say that one of the five swords survived the closing of the Goblin gate, and is yet hidden here in Hammerfell. It was the least of the five, but the story has it that it exceeds and modern blade magical or ebony by several orders of magnitude.
Of course I take this with a grain of salt, since a ebony weapon is unparalleled in its keen cutting ability and personally I can't imagine a weapon doing more damage than a Claymore of Firestorm or a Saber of Life Steal. Dendle even believes that out in the countryside outside of Skaven in one of the Halls of the Virtues of War, there are still people who follow the old ways and can form a Shehai or spirit sword.
In collecting these stories, I once thought I was seeing a Shehai being formed, by an old Hall master, but the thing, if it was a spirit sword was so faint that even the sword shape was questionable. I didn't want to insult the old man so I claimed I saw it too. But if that was a Shehai, I can't imagine it possibly used as a real weapon. Here's my outline of the new story:
At the time of this story, Hammerfell is fully occupied by Redguards. All the old cities of the Dwarves (but one - the Ghost City of Dwarfhome) are now the cities of today's modern Hammerfell. A second invasion of the giant goblins comes. Hammerfell is unprepared, except for a few faithful followers, all youths in the rural Halls of Virtue.
Hallin, being the only Ansei, rallies the armies of Hammerfell. After a defeat, he brings back the old ways by telling each warrior to read the Book of Circles. The army fights the Goblins to a standstill, but things look bleak, just as in Divad's song. Somehow the goblins keep being resupplied both with arms and troops. Eventually the Army of Hammerfell will lose.
The old master of Hallin's Hall of the Virtues of War has an ancient copy of Divad's will and testament, and reads it to Hallin. It tells him that the 5 swords aren't lost, just hidden and well guarded in 5 caves. Each cave is home to a master guardian, one of the old blind Ansei -- and also a maze.
According to the will, Derik must, along with a virtuous companion of pure heart enter the cave, defeat each Ansei Master and retrieve their sword.
Dendle went into great detail here. It seems that each Master had an outstanding trait -- one Katrice, possessed feline grace, and had become very catlike; another, who had icy calm was something much like an Ice Golem.
On each blade is inscribed part of an intricate message on how to use the power of the swords combined. Derik scours the rural Halls for Brothers of the Blade and Maidens of the Spirit Sword to accompany him in the quests. He finally one by one finds his companions, and wins each sword.
They learn from the blades and together wield the force of the 5 swords to seal the rent in space time that the Goblins have made and from which springs their invasion. Hallin's companions avoided blinding by the magic swords by hurling the swords together into the void, and sealing forever the giant Goblins in the void between their world and ours.
The land is saved and Hallin and his companions (3 women and 2 men) become Ansei and restore the teachings of Frandar Hunding to Hammerfell.
That's the story in brief. I welcome any comments from you or one of the other editors.
One other concern of mine. I understand that you are considering using a better known writer, Uthilla Abuhk or Casmyr Kreestrom, to write the stories I've researched. I can understand that a better known writer may mean that a few more copies of the books will be sold, but that should not be your only concern. Abuhk and Kreestrom, while fine writers and poets, will need to be lectured on the true history of the Redguards. Even if you are willing to pay me to do that, you will have to acknowledge that the books will take longer to write than if you just allowed me to do it. Just something to consider when you make the decision.
I hope this letter finds you, your consort, and children to good health and humor.
Yours faithfully, Destri Melarg